Column: How to survive - and enjoy - tropical storms


I had watched with bated breath the weather forecast for this tropical thing we’ve just not experienced, since it was just a tiny wave.

Don’t ask me why, but stuff like this excites me. Yes, it can be scary in some circumstances, but for the most part, there’s an air of excitement. Not sure if it’s the anticipation, the unexpected or what. I’m not afraid of bad weather, thunder, lightning and inclement weather. I just roll with the punches.

This weekend was a dud as far as experiencing anything storm related. It was a non event, but for a moment it might not have been.

I have a brick house, but live in a neighborhood which was hit quite heavily during the 2013 storm. I wasn’t there at the time. Surely lightning doesn’t strike twice?

Yes, in many instances, coverage of events such as storms means extra work on days off, weekends, canceled time away and the like and many times in not-so-desirable conditions.

I’ve tromped around in the rain with boots, a slicker, holding an umbrella and still trying to shoot photos and hold a recorder or paper and pen.

I think it was high school soccer games that taught me the fine art of shooting in adverse conditions. I ruined a favorite pair of shoes at a soccer field on a cold Wednesday night in Columbus. It was miserable.

I learned how to shoot holding my umbrella with one shoulder and bracing it with my chin  while quickly trying to snap frames.

Flooding possible? Yeah, right. Flooding a certainty is what many of us were gearing up for. They told us about sandbags. Sandbags sound like fun, even though I have no use for them. This time NOBODY needed them.

My house has no danger of flooding ever, but the very back of the yard next to the neighbor’s fence usually experiences some pretty deep standing water during times of heavy rain. I blame it on the ditch, or the small crevice that runs down beside my house. I must remember to speak with my supervisor about that. I’ve already made one video to share with him.

If it floods my house, you better be looking for Noah and that big ark of animals coming down the street.

Not to mention that a looming vacation and bad weather don’t mix. Thank goodness they don’t fall at the same time. There was a year when we were delayed a day or two, which threw everything into chaos, especially for those flying in who had to switch flights, rent cars, etc.

I did feel sorry for those with beach plans. I had lots of friends who had beach aspirations with boats and balls and all other manner of beach paraphernalia who had to quickly change their plans. But in the end, did they really? Boo!

But like they say, a bad day at the beach is always better than a good day at the office.


Beth Bunch is managing editor of the The Hattiesburg Post, The Lamar Times and The Petal News. She will hopefully be combing the beach with her fun family in the not-so-distant future, and as always, looking for shells.